The Benefits of Hiring a Private College Consultant

Posted on January 26, 2010. Filed under: admissions advice, college admissions, College Advice, college applications, college choice, college counseling, college prep, college search, education | Tags: , , , , , , |

In today’s college admission landscape it is essential that families remain knowledgeable on up to date trends in higher education. Many families begin the college admissions process early in high school so that they obtain as much information as possible about colleges while providing maximum opportunity for their children. The college admissions process is complex and detailed and in order for students and families to navigate this process correctly, qualified private college consultants are becoming more popular.

It is sensible to hire a qualified independent educator to ensure that the choice for higher education is correct, as the cost to obtain an undergraduate degree at many private colleges is near $200,000. Independent college consultants can also make an otherwise stressful process into a successful and enjoyable experience. The recognition and growth of private consulting is logical based on the demands of the colleges on students and the competitive nature of college admissions.

There are thousands of colleges in the United States and learning about how they vary is a difficult process without appropriate guidance. Qualified private college consultants help students avoid costly mistakes by finding the college that is the best fit for them. Without the proper direction, many students and families ultimately choose colleges without necessary information on what would be the best matches for them. Numerous families have specific requests with regard to academics, athletics and special learning needs. College consultants do lengthy and specific research to assure students that they apply to the most appropriate colleges.  Expert college consultants attend conferences, visit campuses regularly and have a wide array of professional resources available. The experience and knowledge of a qualified independent college consultant is invaluable while navigating through high school planning and the admissions process.

The ratio of counselor to student in many high schools is extremely high (500 to 1 in many cases) and the school counselors do not have time to individualize the process for their students. Even the most skilled high school college counselors may have too many students to provide the individualized attention students need and deserve. College counselors in high schools are bound by the rules, requirements and job description of their schools. Often times they are also required to do additional jobs at their high schools with regard to guidance counseling, scheduling and record keeping. Many high school counselors do not attend conferences, tour colleges or develop relationships with admission representatives. As a result, they are not always current on recent college admission news and evolving admissions requirements.

Reputable educational consultants visit hundreds of colleges, whereas a college counselor in a high school spends the majority of his/her time at their specific school. In addition, an independent  consultant researches and prepares college lists, assists with college essays, works on activity resumes, advises on campus visits, letters of recommendations, interviews, summer programs, internships and has a better understanding of what the colleges admissions personnel at specific colleges want in their candidates.

Most high school college counselors are grateful for additional insight and assistance with their students from independent consultants. High school counselors know that many families seek outside resources for academic tutors, test preparation and college counseling. There are various options available, however professional educational consultants affiliated with the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) are held in high esteem and an integral part of assisting students in their college process. The additional insight private consultants offer can be a valued asset to  hard working high school counselors who must write hundreds of recommendation letters. The relationship families maintain with a private consultant can remain confidential and release of any information is dependent on the family’s decision.

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